Exercises for the elbows

Introduction

These exercises are helpful for problems and pain affecting the elbows.

It's a good idea to start slowly and build up gradually if you're new to exercise. For more information and tips on getting started, see our About exercise page.

Get advice and support from a healthcare professional or fitness instructor if you have any concerns about starting a new exercise plan.

Elbow bend

Stand up straight and lower your arm to one side. Bend your arm slowly upwards so your hand is touching your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 10 times. This exercise can also be done with a light weight.

Wrist flex

Keeping your arm straight in front with your palm facing down, gently bend your wrist down. Use the opposite hand to press the stretching hand back towards your body and hold for 15-30 seconds. Straighten your wrist. Gently bend the stretching hand backwards and use your other hand to pull the fingers back. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Do this three times with each wrist.

Wrist turn

Bend your elbow at a right angle and hold out your hand, palm up. Turn your wrist slowly so that your palm is now facing down. Hold for five seconds, and then slowly release. Try to do this a total of 30 times with a break after every 10.

Wrist turn with weight

Repeat the exercise above while holding a light weight, such as a tin of beans.

Palm lift

Place your palm on the table and lift the fingers up. Place your other hand across the knuckles at 90 degrees and push down as the bottom hand tries to pull up. You should feel the muscles of your forearms contracting. Swap hands and repeat. This is a useful basic exercise for tennis elbow.

Wrist lift (palm down)

Bend your elbow at a right angle. Hold a light weight (for example a tin of beans), palm down. Bend your wrist slowly towards you, and then slowly release. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions twice a day. This is a useful exercise for tennis elbow and needs to be done for 8-12 weeks.

Wrist lift (palm up)

Bend your elbow at a right angle. Hold a light weight, such as a tin of beans, with your palm facing upwards. Bend your wrist slowly towards you. Hold for five seconds, and then slowly release. Try to do this 30 times with a break after every 10.